If you are shopping for a mortgage, you have the option to go directly to a bank or enlist the help of a professional Port Moody mortgage broker. But, which should you choose? While a bank can provide you with the select products offered by its institution, a mortgage broker can provide more choice – with access to hundreds of mortgage products available on the market.
Here are some advantages of using a Port Moody Mortgage Broker:
When you work with a Port Moody Mortgage Broker, we will discuss and compare mortgage rates, design a mortgage that is suited to your unique needs, and ultimately, create a mortgage that will work for you. Our job is to make you feel comfortable throughout the entire process. You will have peace of mind knowing that you’re getting the very best mortgage option.
Our clients can expect to receive the best rates with fast, friendly, professional service and a mortgage package that is tailored to your unique needs. We are completely independent – our job is to work with you and for you to find the best mortgage products. Best of all, the services of a mortgage broker are free!
Milka started working in the banking world in 1994. She became an independent mortgage broker in 2006 and opened her own successful and locally recognized brokerage in 2009. She has been a resident of Port Coquitlam for the past 22 years with her husband, 3 children and dog, Sparky.
Whether you are purchasing your first home, refinancing, renewing, switching lenders or purchasing a revenue/vacation property, a Port Moody Mortgage Broker can provide you with professional unbiased advice.
Milka Lukacevic and the TMK Team is a member of The Mortgage Centre – one of Canada’s most established mortgage broker networks.
The transition from living at home or renting, to homeownership has many obstacles for millennials, today. In fact, many people may feel like homeownership is a dream that is out of reach for them in today’s current real estate market.
But all hope is not lost! By asking yourself these four practical questions, you too can be on your way to buying your first home.
As a first-time home buyer, it is important to shop within your means. Even if you qualify for a sizable mortgage, there’s no rule that says you have to use the full amount. At this stage, your goal should be to start building equity. If you want a property but you can’t afford it, then you shouldn’t buy it.
If you’re seriously thinking abut buying a home, then you have probably started budgeting for your down payment and monthly mortgage payment. But don’t forget to budget for your property tax, insurance, closing costs, and utilities. Not to mention, your living expenses once you’ve moved into your new home.
In Canada, most mortgage professionals will advise you to make at least a 20% down payment on your property to avoid paying homeowner insurance. However, this is not always possible, especially if you don’t want to delay your first real estate investment. A 5% down payment is the minimum amount you must put down.
Shopping around for a mortgage can be a complicated and confusing process. It used to be that if you wanted to finance a mortgage, you went right to your bank. These days, more and more Canadian’s are turning to a mortgage broker to help them find the mortgage product that is right for them. A mortgage broker will compare rates from the major banks as well as non-traditional lenders. They will then match you with the best interest rate and lending terms available on the market.
Contact a local Trusted Mortgage Knowledge Professional today – Milka Lukacevic and the Mortgage Centre TMK Team.
The mortgage renewal process from your Trusted Mortgage Knowledge Professional
The mortgage renewal process is something that everyone with a mortgage needs to be fully aware of. If you have a mortgage agreement, then you are required to receive a renewal statement from your lender at least 21 days before the end of your current mortgage term.
Did you know that many people simply sign on the dotted line, without shopping around for a better rate? A Manulife survey found that almost two out of three Canadians surveyed stayed with their current provider and didn’t even try to negotiate.
I understand that people are busy; however, it is important to understand how much a percentage point can affect the total amount you pay over the lifetime of your term. Just a few tenths of a percentage point could mean thousands of dollars less in your pocket.
If you are renewing your mortgage, here are a few things to keep in mind before you sign the renewal document.
It is never a good idea to wait until you receive the renewal notice from your lender to begin shopping around for a better rate. The banks send these notices so close to the renewal date to deter people from shopping around. However, being proactive can help you to save a significant amount of money. I recommend beginning to shop around four months prior to your renewal.
Always think of the posted rate as the opening offer in a negotiation. Banks often use the posted rate to provide a value proposition to their clients. It is a better idea to shop around. If you only get rates from one financial institution, you may be paying a premium compared to other available rates in the market. A trusted mortgage knowledge professional will be able to help you negotiate with your current lender. It is important to do some legwork with a mortgage broker to ensure that you are getting access to the lowest interest rate possible.
A broker is an independent licensed mortgage specialist who negotiates with a variety of lenders to get their clients the best possible rate. Mortgage brokers can offer a better rate than the bank due to their access to multiple lenders. A Bank of Canada survey found that using a mortgage broker resulted in many Canadian’s getting a lower rate than what was offered by their bank.
As with any agreement, always read the small print before you sign. Make sure the mortgage product you choose offers other options such as the ability to pay extra on your mortgage and clearly defines any penalties, should you decide to break your mortgage agreement early.
If you don’t take the time to be proactive, then your mortgage will be automatically renewed after the 21-day period passes.
If you have any questions or if you want to begin shopping around well before your renewal notice arrives, get in contact with your local Port Coquitlam Trusted Mortgage Knowledge Professional, Milka Lukacevic of the TMK team.
Are you considering purchasing a rental property? In this blog post, we will be discussing everything you will need to know before becoming a landlord.
First things first: can you afford this kind of commitment? You will need to ensure you have a steady income and a sufficient savings fund. All of your high-interest debts will need to be paid off and you should be on track to meeting your retirement savings goals.
After carefully considering your overall financial picture, you will want to map out all of the costs associated with purchasing a rental property. It is important to factor in:
Purchasing a property as an investor rather than an owner-occupant typically requires a larger down payment. You will need to have a 20-25% down payment available to apply to the purchase of the rental property.
As a homeowner with an existing mortgage, you will need to apply for a new mortgage on the rental property. An investment property mortgage requires specialty financing. This customized mortgage loan is slightly different from a traditional second mortgage. An experienced mortgage broker can help you find the right mortgage for your situation, and at a great rate.
Will you be able to afford the mortgage on the rental property if you are without a tenant for a month or two? Ensure you have enough saved to cover your two mortgage payments, recurring expenses, and routine maintenance and repairs.
When it comes to purchasing a rental property, it helps to find a realtor who’s interested in establishing a relationship, owns rental properties themselves, and specializes in the buying and selling of investment properties. Your local Port Coquitlam realtor can give you good advice about the neighbourhoods that are popular with renters in the community.
Another responsibility of a landlord is finding and evaluating tenants. Taking the time to evaluate potential clients will make a big difference on your experience as a landlord. Your goal is likely to find the perfect tenants. You know the kind? The renters who take immaculate care of their home. The ones who decorate for the holidays and take pride in their rental as if it was their own home. If you find renters like this, do everything you can to hold on to them. These kinds of tenants tend to require fewer repairs and will leave far less wear and tear behind when they eventually move out.
Another option is to use a property management company. They will likely use a professional tenant screening service to check credit reports, references, and perform a criminal background check on perspective tenants.
The extra work upfront is worth it in the long run. If you’re interested in obtaining a rental property mortgage, contact your local Port Coquitlam Trusted Mortgage Knowledge Professional, Milka Lukacevic of the Mortgage Centre TMK Team.
Mortgage Tips from your Trusted Mortgage Knowledge Professional
Paying down your mortgage faster is one of those suggestions that financial advisors love to make to their clients. And while many Canadian’s dream about the financial freedom of being completely debt-free, most are unaware of the simple strategies they can utilize to shed years off their mortgage.
In this blog post, I will highlight four strategies you can implement into your life to help pay down your mortgage faster.
Are you currently making monthly payments 12 times per year? Instead, try speeding up the process with an accelerated bi-weekly payment plan. With this plan, you end up paying 26 bi-weekly payments per year. So in effect, you are paying the equivalent of 13 payments per year. Prior to setting up accelerated bi-weekly payments, confirm that there are no pre-payment penalties.
A pain-free way to help your debt disappear faster is to round up your payments. For example, if your accelerated bi-weekly payments are $848, consider rounding the payment up to $900. The additional $52 will make a significant difference over time, and chances are, you will barely notice a difference in your monthly budget.
Most closed mortgages will allow borrowers to make an extra payment each year. This additional payment can be 10%, 15% or 20% of the original principal in each calendar year, without penalty.
So you’ve purchased a house, have a mortgage and have begun making monthly payments. At this stage, it can be easy to fall into a routine as the payments come out of your accounts automatically. Don’t fall into this routine. As a homeowner, you need to stay up-to-date with interest rate changes and the new options available to you.
While paying off your debt early will result in less interest paid over the lifetime of your loan, it is not always the best option for every homeowner. If you fall into one of these three categories, then the interest you would save on your mortgage would not be as beneficial to you as addressing your other financial issues first.
It is very easy to virtually play around with the various payment scenarios available to you. Most financial institutions, banks, and brokers have online mortgage calculators. If you are using an online calculator, make sure it is from a Canadian source. American mortgage calculators are calculated differently and will provide you with inaccurate information.
Armed with this information, I hope these tips will help you pay off your debt sooner. If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local Port Coquitlam Trusted Mortgage Knowledge Professional, Milka Lukacevic of The TMK Team.
According to Statistics Canada, just over 2.7 million Canadians declared themselves as self-employed in 2016.
As a large, growing section of the population is working for themselves, the mortgage banks in British Columbia are starting to take notice. Many have begun introducing Business for Self-Employed mortgage programs to help make the application process more straightforward.
While these options are a step in the right direction, there is no such thing as a self-employed mortgage. Rather, you are going to get a normal mortgage and you will have to jump through more hoops to get it.
In this blog post, we will discuss what you will need in order to obtain a mortgage.
As someone who is self-employed, you will need to prove your income to any mortgage lender you apply to. Most lenders will want to see at least 2-3 years of financial statements or tax returns. The more information you can show, the better. You will need:
Being accountable and organized is key for any self-employed or freelance worker. In order to prove your income, you will need at least 2-3 years of accounts. It is recommended to get these put together by a chartered accountant.
There are a couple of common issues that may come up against someone who is self-employed and applying for a mortgage. Previously, you and your accountant may have been legally reducing your taxable income as a way to pay less tax. Although this will have saved you money then, it could end up costing you now. When applying for a mortgage, it is always better to be able to show the largest income possible.
An experienced mortgage broker is essential when applying for a mortgage. They will be knowledgeable about which lenders are open to lending to self-employed and most importantly, who will be able to offer you the best rate.
When it comes to mortgages, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. If you’re unsure how to navigate through the self-employed mortgage options out there, talk to a Trusted Mortgage Knowledge Professional. Contact Milka Lukacevic of The Mortgage Centre TMK team, your local Tri-Cities Mortgage Broker.
Mortgage Pre-Approval from your Trusted Mortgage Knowledge Professional
As many first-time home buyers know, one of the most important steps during the home buying process is obtaining financing. But what they may not know is when they should get a mortgage pre-approval. The answer is simple – you should get a mortgage pre-approval prior to beginning your house hunt.
To find out why it is so important and to learn the difference between mortgage pre-approval and pre-qualification, continue reading.
What is a mortgage pre-approval? A mortgage pre-approval is the process in which a lender gives their written commitment to a potential borrower to loan money. A pre-approval determines the house price that the borrower can afford, which allows them to budget for the home purchase and associated costs.
In comparison, a mortgage pre-qualification is simply a prediction of the amount a person will be able to borrow. In many cases, a pre-qualification is only as good as the piece of paper it is written on.
Before you begin your house search, you should get mortgage pre-approval. Many buyers do not understand why this is important. Below are several reasons you will be glad you obtained a pre-approval for a mortgage before beginning your house hunt.
It is not unusual for a potential buyer to not know what their credit score is – especially first time home buyers. If there is an error affecting your credit score, the sooner you know about it, the better. The process to get errors removed and your credit score re-adjusted can take a couple of months.
Another important reason why a pre-approval should be obtained prior to looking at houses is to eliminate disappointment. Unfortunately, there are many real estate agents who show their buyers homes, even though they have no clue whether the buyer can afford the home or not. This can be avoided by getting a mortgage pre-approval prior to heading out with a realtor and looking at potential homes.
There are many costs associated with buying a home – some that you may not have even thought about. It’s not quite as simple as a 5-10% down payment. Typically when you buy a home, you have to pay a full year’s real estate tax, an entire year’s homeowners insurance, and other miscellaneous expenses.
In today’s local, real estate market, there is a strong possibility that a home up for sale will receive multiple offers. Did you know that a buyer who is pre-approved for a mortgage will have the advantage in a multiple offer situation?
When it comes to getting pre-approved for a mortgage, the sooner you meet with a Trusted Mortgage Knowledge Professional, the better. Contact Milka Lukacevic of The Mortgage Centre TMK Team, your local Tri-Cities Mortgage Broker, to set up an appointment today!
Professional advice from your Trusted Mortgage Knowledge Professional.
A fixed rate mortgage is usually set over a term of 1, 3, 5 or 10 years. During the length of the term, the rate you first sign with will be the rate you pay throughout the entirety of the mortgage. In other words, there will be no surprises along the way. You will have a permanent rate with a payment that won’t fluctuate.
Normally, the fixed rate is higher than the variable rate, with very few exceptions. In Canada, the fixed rate itself is determined by Canada Bond yields. These yields are driven by economic factors such as unemployment and inflation.
A variable rate mortgage is also set over a term of 1, 3, 5, or 10 years; however, it is priced at a lower rate. Why? Because if you decide to sign on for a variable rate mortgage, you are taking on more risk.
Unlike fixed rates, variable rates can change over the term of your mortgage. While this change may be a decrease in rate, it could also be an increase. Variable rate mortgages are also driven by economic factors. But in this instance, your rate isn’t secured. Rather, variable rate mortgages are driven by the prime rate. It is common for the Bank of Canada to reduce rates when the Canadian economy needs stimulus. On the other hand, they will raise the rates when the Canadian economy is thriving as a way to control inflation.
In a perfect world, we would be able to know ahead of time if the variable rates will increase, decrease or stay the same. But unfortunately, this isn’t the case. So now you must ask yourself:
“If the rates increase, will I still be able to afford to pay off my mortgage every month?”
When it comes to mortgages, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. One mortgage rate may look very attractive at the moment, but if you’re unsure how to navigate through all the possibilities, be sure to talk to a Trusted Mortgage Knowledge Professional. Contact Milka Lukacevic of The Mortgage Centre TMK Team, your local Tri-Cities Mortgage Broker.
MORTGAGES AND SELF EMPLOYED
There are several perks of being self employed. There’s no one to boss around, you have flexible working hours, the freedom to do what you want whenever you want,the luxury to pick and choose contracts or businesses and the host of tax benefits or financial rewards. Self employed professionals can save thousands on taxes. There are dozens of deductibles that a self employed professional can claim but that very saving or smart strategy will cost one dearly at the time of applying for a mortgage.
Let us understand one thing at the very onset. There are many self employed mortgage options. Who ever has said that people running their own enterprises or working alone don’t qualify for a mortgage is only presenting you half a fact. Yes, being employed makes one a more desirable applicant for a bank. Even if you were running a business with some or many employees and your business and personal taxations are segregated completely, you will face fewer hurdles. It is the status of being self employed that comes with some inherent complications. But, there are many self employed mortgage options.You can show numerous expenses and account for it as your business expenditure and easily get away from paying higher taxes. While this is smart, this makes the banks see very little income or less than desirable take home income. Thus, they deem such self employed people ineligible.
Preparation Is The Key
Self employed mortgages have some distinct requisites. How long one has been self employed, professional engagements prior to becoming self employed, yearly income including taxes filed and take home and the present financial profile including outstanding debts and assets, all would come under consideration. Your gross income versus the net income also come into play when determining what type of mortgage and which institution and product would suit you best.
Self employed mortgages require planning. A professional must file taxes and report take home income bearing in mind the eventual requirement of mortgage lenders. Increasing the take home income may be necessary if one is under reporting it. Yearly increase in the take home income is also necessary. While the income can stay stagnant and there can be some fluctuations in certain months but the income cannot dip dramatically from one year to the next. A downward variance year over year of 20% or more may also raise flags on the income being used for qualification purposes. The premise of self employment is unpredictable and if an applicant shows that unpredictability in tax returns or incomes over the years, then the mortgage lenders or banks would become concerned and possibly reject a mortgage application.
All these odds can be overcome with planning and meticulous preparation. There are various self employed mortgages that are available and accessible through your Mortgage Broker that your traditional banks may not have. IF you are self employed and looking to purchase a home or investment property, refinance, or renew your mortgage call your Local Tri-Cities Mortgage Broker Milka Lukacevic of The Mortgage Centre TMK TEAM – Nominated for POCO’s Best Biz Awards 2015